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No place like home at The Jungle

August 10, 2018

The Crosby Cougar football team did not lose a home game in 2013.

Nor did they in 2014, 2015 or 2016.

Over the past six seasons, the Cougars are 27-2 (0.931) at Cougar Stadium in Crosby, which is nicknamed The Jungle.

“Our kids take pride in protecting the Jungle. They take pride in people not coming in here and beating us on our home field,” said coach and Crosby ISD athletic director Jeff Riordan.

Crosby ISD is a one-high school district, so the whole Crosby community gets behind the Cougars.

“Everyone buys in. Everyone loves Crosby,” said senior quarterback Jaiden Howard. “Crosby is a nice small town where we’re well connected and everybody loves the Cougars, so they put everything on the line for the Cougars. That’s why we play for them, the fans.”

Crosby’s home dominance will be challenged in 2018. Among the opponents coming into the Jungle are 2017 5A Division I state runner up Manvel (Sept. 7) and 2017 4A Division I state runner up West Orange-Stark (Sept. 14).

New district opponent Port Neches-Groves comes to Crosby on October 12. Port Neches-Groves beat Crosby in a 72-69 shootout in the first round of the 2017 playoffs and advanced to the regional semifinal.

“It’s going to be hard to protect the Jungle, but our kids will be up to the challenge; they’ll be ready to go,” said Riordan. “the Jungle’s going to be tested this season for sure.”

For senior defensive lineman Jamar Hamilton feeling the home crowd’s energy and knowing that the team has its community’s support behind it goes a long way to contributing to the team’s success.

“We want people to come in here and make it a jungle,” said Riordan. “We want it to be chaos, controlled chaos in here. Our fans are the 12th man literally.”

Howard made sure to bring up the importance of fans travelling to road games as well.

“When we made that long playoff run several years ago [in 2015, when the Cougars advanced to the state semifinal], our fans pretty much intimidated wherever we went, and it’s a big deal,” said Riordan.

elliott.lapin@hearst.com

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