STEPHEN HEMELT — Todd Dodge’s football family connection began in Port Arthur – Port Arthur News

STEPHEN HEMELT — Todd Dodge’s football family connection began in Port Arthur – Port Arthur News

Former Port Arthur highschool soccer nice Todd Dodge has loads on his plate proper now.

The pinnacle soccer coach at Austin Westlake is making ready for a state title sport look this night (7 p.m.) at AT&T Stadium.

That may usually be sufficiently big enterprise, however this weekend’s sport additionally pits Todd Dodge’s Chaparrals towards the Southlake Carroll Dragons, coached by his son,

Riley Dodge.

The daddy-son teaching matchup is a Texas highschool soccer title sport first; so I used to be fairly joyful Friday morning when Todd Dodge took a break from all of the preparation to speak with me about … nicely, all of the preparation.

Like, who’s the Dodge household pulling for in tonight’s huge sport?

“I feel most of them are simply joyful in regards to the concept,” he mentioned. “They’ve slightly purple and blue (Westlake) and slightly inexperienced and black (Southlake). (Riley’s) grandmother, his aunts, his sister, my spouse, all of them, for essentially the most half are hoping for an excellent sport. They’ll’t lose. It will likely be a very good sport for the relations.”

Some have advised to Dodge that the sport is a “win-win” for him, saying he both wins one other state for his crew or enjoys watching his son earn the identical honor.

Todd Dodge isn’t shopping for it.

“It’s important to be all in,” he mentioned. “What actually retains me targeted away from that going into this sport is my duty to my gamers. I do know my son Riley feels the identical approach.”

Todd Dodge coached his son to a few state titles at Southlake, coached him once more on the College of North Texas and now coaches towards him for a title.

Their bond goes approach past a single gameday. They’re twin warriors able to do every part they’ll to win.

However when the sport is over, what subsequent?

“I like my son,” Dodge instructed me. “I’m so pleased with my son. If his crew wins, then I’m going to offer him all of the congratulations and be pleased with him for what he has achieved.”

Dodge, who has coached in the highschool and school ranks for 35 years, knew it was going to be his path when he was 16 years outdated in Port Arthur.

“I like being part of a crew,” he mentioned. “The sport of soccer is the final word crew sport. Throughout the years, my function has modified, from quarterback, to chief, to school backup and again to a starter. You get into teaching and also you’re an assistant coach, then a coordinator, then the primary man once more as a head coach and chief. Nonetheless, all through that entire course of you might be only a member of the crew.”

Todd Dodge performed on a one-win crew in Port Arthur and one other one which reached a state title sport.

He’s performed quarterback on the College of Texas and confronted off towards Oklahoma as the pinnacle coach at North Texas. He’s coached state titles at totally different Texas excessive faculties.

Evidently, he’s skilled as many cheers and boos as anybody on this football-mad state.

Does he nonetheless get as excited as he did again within the late 1970s in Port Arthur?

“Completely,” he says, his voice rising extra sharp. “Lots of people don’t take into consideration coaches being a member of the crew. We’ve our jobs to do. It’s been 35 years that I’ve been a coach. My function simply retains altering.”

That function is straightforward proper now. His job is to compete. And the one purpose he’s competing is as a result of he needs to win.

His followers in Port Arthur are proper there with him, hoping for yet one more victory.

Stephen Hemelt is the president of Port Arthur Newsmedia. He may be reached at stephen.hemelt@panews.com or 409-721-2445.

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