"Covering today’s Blackcats, a statue honoring Olympian" by: Mike Reddell

   I went to the new Memorial Stadium Monday morning to photograph the Bay City Blackcats’ initial day of two-a-days practice. 
   It was my first look at the new stadium. 
   I was impressed by it all – the players, the color of the artificial turf field, the towering stands and the soaring press box. 
   For the players, this was more about football than the imposing setting, said new Head Coach Robert Jones. 
   After all the Blackcats have been out of school since March amid this pandemic with the rest of us. 
   While BCISD did hold a summer sports athletic camp that brought all the district’s athletes together, the start of two-a-days had to be a touch of normal. 
   Other touches of normal included the oppressive heat and humidity – at least that was my take on the conditions. 
   Oh, and the coaches occasional shouts of reprimand. How I remember those long-ago sounds of summer. 
   I interviewed Jones about his impressions of coming back to Bay City High School - where he played football and graduated in 2000 – as head coach. 
   Jones has been coaching at Brazosport and Angleton since then.    
But Athletic Director Warren Trahan tapped his former player Jones to take the helm at this juncture.   
   That juncture, of course, is taking over the Blackcats after a winless season last year. 
   A successful Blackcat season would mean a lot to Bay City fans who’ve had a full plate of worries this year. 
   Jones is excited to be here and keeps telling everybody he wants to bring back that Blackcat pride that he and Trahan well remember.  
   Winning, Jones stresses to his players, will be rewarded by the fans. I have a related story in Sports, Page 6. 
   Other impressions I had included the midfield image of the Blackcat and the Blackcats name spelled out in the end zones. 
   As I headed out of the stadium toward my truck, City Tourism Director Heidi Martinez called out and caught up with me to tell me the statue of Olympic gold medal winner and Bay City Blackcat Joe Deloach was being installed. 
   Heidi joined Trahan who was helping workers securing the straps for a front-end loader to lift and place the statue onto its granite pedestal and black concrete base. 
   That was neat to photograph this historical moment.  
   There had been several places the statue might have been, but I think this location is the most appropriate and the best fit of them all. 

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