This year marks the 30th year that Coach Brady Pennington of the New Caney Eagles has been coaching. He began his career at Van High School, transferred to Brenham High School after sixteen years, and then returned to Van as the new head coach after two years in Brenham. Pennington stayed at Van for eight years, going 52-26, winning five district championships, and making a run to the state quarterfinals, before deciding to make the move to the New Caney Eagles football program as head coach. For four years now Coach Pennington has been building a foundation in the Eagle’s athletic program that he hopes will become a tradition.
Since his first year at New Caney, Coach Pennington has seen the numbers in his program for participation increase dramatically. For example, only 18 freshmen showed up to two-a-days the first year he was there, whereas now, over 60 are committed to the program. Pennington states that ever year “our numbers have grown significantly and in part it’s because our kids are our biggest ambassadors.” The players approach their peers and say, “Hey! You need to come be part of what’s going on out here!” The players want to “continue the foundation of building the structure that’s going to hold up [for the Eagle’s program]. What is going to hold up is giving great effort, doing it with a lot of class and a lot of character,” stated Pennington.
As you can imagine, with fewer than necessary players on the team, for the last few years multiple players have been playing both sides of the ball to attempt to stay in the competition. This tired the team out to a point where they were unable to compete with district powerhouses like Crosby and Summer Creek; however, this year New Caney has “closed the gap” and will only have 1 or 2 players playing both sides. This will be advantageous for the Eagles considering most, if not all of their opponents, do not have players on both sides. A full and rested offense/defense could change the Eagles entire game! Thanks to the realignment earlier this year, the Eagles will not see Summer Creek in competition but will gain Galena Park as a contender.
Contributing to New Caney’s hopeful success this year is Aldin Adamek, Jesse Abauta, Joe Dittman, Jose Rangel, Anthony Ponce, Timmy Ware, Marte Allison, David Harvey, Jarmon Burkhalter, Joseph Edwards, and Tristan Garza. Pennington spoke highly of these young men, ranging from their leadership on the field to their speed and agility. Of these young men, quarterback, Timmy Ware, a transfer from St. Pius, received the most praise of his ability. Pennington admits, “everything we saw of him on the film last year…the hype is real! Plus he is a fantastic kid and he leads by example.” Coincidentally his father is Ney Caney’s offensive coordinator, so naturally the two communicate effectively and see results. Ware is exactly who the Eagles want as quarterback.
Coach Pennington and his coaching staff have done an immaculate job setting up the building clocks for New Caney and making the boys aware of accountability: the players know that “what they do reflects on everyone. They are a New Caney Eagle football player.” Game day is not just another day; it’s a “special day” according to Pennington so the team members are required to wear a tie and sports jacket. “Teaching the kids character, integrity, and being men of their word” is an important lesson the staff is instilling on the players.
The season is just beginning for New Caney, but no matter how far the Eagles make it this year, their biggest game will be on September 12th against Porter: The Battle Line on 59. Not only have the Eagles claimed victory all four years of it’s existence, but for the first time ever the teams are playing in the new New Caney ISD stadium! Pennington believes that this atmosphere will “give them a taste of what a playoff game is like. The stadium will be loaded [with people].” This game will definitely one the boys will always remember.