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Despite offseason turmoil, Bastrop Tribe ready to defend TAIAO state title

Jim Irish

Special to the Bastrop Advertiser

August 18, 2021

Bastrop Tribe has confronted a severe obstacle before the first football game this season.

The homeschool athletic program was abruptly canceled on July 24, only days before the start of fall practice.

To make matters worse, without the use of practice field the Pasture, the Warriors were left homeless.

The program, however, quickly reorganized under a new board of directors. Brent Golemon remains as head coach.

The team practices at Bastrop Middle School and has leased the Bastrop High School soccer field for its home games.

“We have been dealt some adversity to start the season but nothing we can’t use to get better,” Golemon said in an email.

The Warriors may be hard pressed to continue their dominance in the Texas Association of Independent Athletic Organizations. They are four-time defending state six-man champions – the past three seasons at the Division I level and one at Division II.

Graduating from last season’s 11-1 team – the only loss to public school Calvert – were all-time leading rusher Samuel Osborn and kicker Nathaniel Heilig. In his senior year alone, Osborn rushed for 2,910 yards and scored 58 touchdowns. Heilig converted 62 of 69 extra points and five of seven field goals. Osborn is currently playing at NAIA Ottawa (Kan.) University, while Heilig is on the roster at NAIA Tabor (Kan.) College.

The returning starters are quarterback/cornerback/linebacker Chandler Golemon (jr., 5-10, 140), linebacker/fullback Chuy Gonzales (jr., 5-10, 165), defensive end Haddon Mills (jr., 5-11, 145), and linebacker/running back Joshua McAlister (so., 5-10, 150). The only returning all-conference athlete, Golemon, the coach’s son, completed 12 of 24 passes for 303 yards. He passed for eight touchdowns and had one interception. With Osborn slicing through defenses, Golemon wasn’t called on often to pass. That could change this season.

Running backs Anthony Salas and Rio Mata decided to not return. That leaves the field wide open. Golemon said Levi Werner (jr., 5-7, 145), McAlister, newcomer Elijah Rendon (so., 6-0, 150), and newcomer Luke Lock (fr., 5-10, 120) will receive repetitions, but none have varsity experience.

“We expect it to be Week 4 before we settle on our running backs,” Golemon said.

Golemon plays his best athletes on both sides of the football. That means Gonzales, Golemon, and McAlister could play a lot of minutes.

“(Chandler) Golemon will lead the offense and Gonzales the defense,” Brent Golemon said. “McAlister and Eastty are expected to step in this year and make large contributions.”

Returning letterman Cole Tomlin (jr., 6-3, 220) has size at the offensive line position.

Newcomers expected to contribute are offensive lineman Tony Eastty (so., 5-10, 210), center Jake Miedema (so., 5-11, 160), defensive end Mikey Bowlin (so, 6-4, 175), kicker Matthew McNabb (so, 5-6, 130), and offensive lineman Conner Christain (so., 5-10, 175).

“Our strength will be the ability to be balanced in our offensive attack,” Golemon said. “We will have to build team chemistry in the first half of the season if we want to make a run for the title.”

Tribe has no seniors on its roster.

“We have so many untested players,” Golemon said. “We will have to improve in all areas because we are replacing so many experienced players.”

Tribe opens its season opener on Saturday at Houston’s Emery Weiner, which is a top 10 six-man team, Golemon said.

The first home game is against always competitive Calvert on Sept. 17, the first of four consecutive home contests.

“Our goals never change at Tribe," Golemon said. “We expect to compete for titles.”


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