FROST — Frost’s Polar Bears are headed for the playoffs with a small team and high hopes.
There might not be a team with fewer players in the state this week as the playoffs begin, but Frost has a plan and a coach with players who believe in themselves.
“We have a saying around here,” said Frost coach Randy Fulton. “It’s all we got ... It’s all we need.”
The Polar Bears have been hit with injuries and more and will take the field against Grapeland, the No. 9 ranked 2A DII team in the state, with only 16 players when the two teams meet at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the 2A DII bi-district round of the playoffs at Groesbeck.
But the Frost kids will hit the field with confidence.
“We’re going in with a plan and the belief that we’ve got the best 11 on the field,” Fulton said.
“We’re down to 16 and we had to start two freshmen who had never played in our last game of the year and we had to win it to get in the playoffs offs) and the kids won it,” Fulton said. “We have some great kids. They took care of business and di what they had to do to get to the playoffs. They’ve bonded as a team and that’s the way we’re going into the playoffs, bonded as a team.”
Grapeland won the District 12-2A DII race with a 5-0 record and is 8-2 for the season.
The Sandies have outscored opponents 349 to 200 with an explosive offense.
Quarterback BJ Lamb, has thrown for 1,571 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed for 496 and 10 more TDs, and tailback Cardarin Wiley leads the Sandies with 1,034 yards on the ground and 15 touchdowns.
“To beat Grapeland we’ve got to contain their quarterback and their running back,” Fulton said. “We’ve got to keep their quarterback in the pocket and not let them get out and run. They’re so quick.”
The Polar Bears (4-6) have battled injuries all year and lost their biggest weapon for four games when Ramon “Tito” Manrriquez was out.
Manrriquez, a junior who is a star on both sides of the ball, still rushed for 814 yards on just 84 carries (9.69 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns, and he made the defensive play of the year with a tackle at the Bears’ 13, forcing a fumble and recovering the ball in the final minutes to allow Frost to hang on and beat Hubbard in a must-win game.
Quarterback Tony Alvarado, a senior, had another big year, completing 76 of 178 passes for 1,492 yards and 15 touchdowns.
The Tito and Tony Show has been hit for three years and the two some wants to keep that show running with a win against Grapeland.
Korben Bowling, a junior, is another big reason Frost reached the playoffs, catching 20 passes for 621 yards for a remarkable 31.5 average per catch and six TDs.
Leopoldo Perez, had a big season on both sides of the ball. The junior two-way lineman was a leader on and off the field.
Frost has only two seniors, Alvarado and Michael McLean, an offensive tackle. Junior Christian Bryant, a two-way lineman, will graduated this spring and is also in his final season on the football field.
The Bears know the numbers are against them, but they want to keep the season alive.