Campbell takes shot at turning Ranger around
Evan Ren, Abilene Reporter-Newshttp://www.reporternews.com/story/sport ... 511523001/
First-year Ranger coach Bobby Campbell is trying to succeed where one coach after another has failed: building long-term success where it hasn’t been achieved in decades.
History cites the Ranger coaching challenge as being enormous.
Bulldogs haven’t had a winning season since 2005. They haven’t had three consecutive winning seasons since 1998-2000 and haven’t put together four straight winning campaigns since 1966-1969. Since 1986, RHS is 82-229-1 with only five seasons finished above .500.
This includes seven 0-10 campaigns and five others that ended 1-9.
In its last 31 seasons, Ranger has won three games or less, 21 times.
Now for the good news: Campbell does begin his Ranger tenure with good numbers, including eight offensive and seven defensive starters from a 2-8 team. He has 16 lettermen back and could suit up as many as 27 players.
The Bulldogs have only two seniors, meaning that Campbell can establish his system through a large number of players who will be back next year.
The question is, will it be enough to achieve what so many others could not?
“I’m going to focus on getting the kids faster,” Campbell said. “I’ve looked at the 40 times and I’m going to spend a lot of time on running first.
“We’re going to have to get faster if we want to win and that’s going to be my main focus.”
In the meantime, Campbell will bring an old-school hard-knocks approach to Ranger, with an I-based offense and a 5-2 or “50” front defensively.
The Bulldogs will seek to run the football, while trying to prevent the opposition from doing the same thing.
“I’m going to meet with every kid and encourage them to come out and at least give football a chance,” Campbell said. “We’ll just try to make it fun for them.
“And the thing with kids is, if they see that we’re having success they’ll most likely stay and buy in to what you’re trying to do.”
Ranger will open the season at Dawson on Sept. 1. District play will begin with a road date at Perrin in Week 7.
HEAD COACH: Bobby Campbell (0-0; 0-0 at Ranger)
LAST YEAR’S RECORD: 2-8; 0-5 in District 8-2A Div. II
LAST DISTRICT TITLE/PLAYOFF APPEARANCE: 1999/2010
RETURNING LETTERMEN: 16
RETURNING OFF./DEF. STARTERS: 8/7
BASE OFFENSE: Spread
BASE DEFENSE: 3-4
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Mitch Needham, RB/LB, 6-2, 215, Sr.; Hayden Morgan, RB/LB, 6-1, 195, Jr.; John Sanchez, RB/DB, 5-8, 160, Jr.; Jayton Richardson, OL/DL, 6-0, 190, Jr.