BIG LAKE, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – After losing its season opener last year, Reagan County has won three straight.
After the winning streak, the Owls failed to win another game, were shut out three times, and finished winless in the district.
“It didn’t go the way we wanted, but we got a lot of experience and now we have a lot more to admire,” said senior defensive back and wide receiver Eduardo Encines.
“We got hit with the injury bug and then found ourselves in the toughest district in the state of Texas. I mean, as far as 3A goes, we had three top-10 teams,” said head coach Kyle Brown, entering his second season in charge of the Owls. “To be honest with you, we were far from being able to compete with teams like that.”
The realignment should boost this year’s outlook for Reagan County, as a classification drop to 2A puts them in the same district as teams with similar registrants.
The Owls have made great strides since their 0-11 season in 2019, but they still have just two district wins since 2018.
“We’re grateful to have dropped out, 2A will still be tough, but we’ll be up against teams that are more on our level numbers wise,” Brown said.
The Owls return several skill position players on offense and most of their secondary on defense.
Elsewhere on the roster there is inexperience, including on the offensive line, but their mutual trust and chemistry in this group means the Owls are thinking big.
“This year we are looking for him. We have a lot of young guys, we have experienced talent players and we expect to have a winning season, maybe win a district championship,” said senior defensive end and tight end Dylan Odom.
One of the most experienced players on the team, Odom and the senior class are determined to change the culture of the program.
“Last year we didn’t really have strong team chemistry. This year we have a lot of kids here who want to win. So I’m really looking forward to setting the standard for Reagan County.
With a new normal comes quality practice reps and constant improvement, and the Owls have some work to do to get to where they think they’re headed.
“We can’t come here and be good one day and not be good the next. They have to pile good days on top of each other,” Brown said, referring to his team’s performance in practice. “Until we do, we are a long way from getting where we want to be.”
Reagan County begins its 2022 schedule at home against Wink on August 26.