A Fresh Start for Ranger Football


Leila Stewart, Sports Editor

Clements alumni Bobby Darnell is going into his second year as the Head Football Coach and Athletic Coordinator.


The last game played by the Rangers varsity football team was versus Dulles high school in November of the 2016 season. Dulles won with a final score of 36-6. The team finished the season with a 1-9 record. This was an improvement from the 2015 season, where their record was 0-10.


With players coming in and out, no team is the same as the team before them. This year’s team contains many young faces, which brings optimism for the future.


“Each team has their own identity,” said Darnell. “This team is completely different than last year’s. We don’t have as many seniors. This team is going to be younger and less experienced, but in my eyes I think they’re more talented.”


All four grades are going to be represented this season. The team consists of 35 to 40 players.


There will possibly be two freshmen. One of them, Jordan Matallana, to play offensive and defensive line, and the other, Trey De Los Santos, to play tight end and deep snapper.


“Those two are scheduled to be on varsity pending UIL paperwork,” said Darnell.


Along with them will be a couple of sophomores and juniors as the majority. However, there will still be some seniors on the team.


“There aren’t as many seniors as a lot of schools have, but there are a good chunk of guys who have been a part of the program for four years,” said Darnell.


These seniors include Jordan Khalil, Sonje Washington, Fote DeMaris, Zachary Dagnall, and Noah Ziman. Being the oldest on the team comes with a certain leadership role and also accepting that “seniority” doesn’t necessarily equate to playing time.


“The seniors are really trying to be the best leaders that they can. They understand that talent is talent. If they can help them win games, it doesn’t matter who they are or what grade they’re in, what matters is what they can produce,” said Darnell.


Overall, the results of this season are looking positive.


“We have got a good mix of kids that are in a better position than they were a year ago and are ready to battle,” said Darnell.


Even with the change between seasons and the younger team, Darnell’s focus for the program remains consistent.

“One of the good things about playing football is that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. You have eleven guys on the field at the time who are trying to accomplish one goal, one snap at a time,” said Darnell.


With this in mind, the official start to the season will occur the first week back from school since experiencing Hurricane Harvey. The game will be a home game on Thursday, September 14 at 6:30 p.m. versus Clear Lake high school. The team will know what is expected and are willing to strive to get there.


“We have the same goal every year, we want to finish our season with the word, ‘champion.’ Whether that is ‘district area regional state’, we have small goals that can get us there. If we beat Dulles, Kempner, and Austin, that puts us in a good position to make the playoffs. Having those same goals and setting the bar high is what we’re always going to do. We are not looking to just improve one or two games this year. We’re going to strive for the sky,” said Darnell.