Football team Robert Lee sacks 18 of 19 players from last season, but the Steers still face a tough climb in Division I District 8-1A which includes reigning state champion Sterling City and ranked Westbrook. n ° 4.
Robert Lee finished 2-7 last season posting a pair of one-point wins over Veribest (33-32) and Bronte (43-42). The Steers have averaged just 12 points per game and haven’t scored in their last three games of 2020.
Even so, new head coach Adam Cline has no plans to make any major changes. The Steers have made several playoff appearances in recent years, but they haven’t won a playoff game since 2012.
“We’re going to keep a lot of the basic stuff that they were doing,” said Cline, 27-44, during previous head coaching stints at Whiteface, Brookesmith and Hedley. “We’re going to polish some things and try to create our own identity.
“We had a good squad for summer practice, and that will help with the leadership in the locker room. They are veteran players who have been on the varsity field before, and that should help with the (coaching) transition.
One of Cline’s adjustments will likely be moving Michael Munoz, a 5-foot-9, 195-pound senior, from quarterback to running back. At quarterback, Brody Pitcock played it last year as a rookie, and Cline will take a look at junior Dillan Machuca.
“Michael Munoz would give us a bigger back and establish a more physical presence in the running back,” said Cline. “At quarterback we’re looking for Brody Pitcock or Dillan Machuca to take charge and be physical. We want to develop some depth at the quarterback and see what we can do. “
The new coach wants to use senior running back Ivan Escamilla in a bigger role to give offense an alternative to physical presence.
Candidates to receive in the offensive line include junior Ryan Mendoza, senior Noah Escamilla, senior Dylan Thomas and Machuca if he doesn’t play quarterback. Other line prospects include sophomores Fernando Sosa and Aden Burns.
“We have to determine our offensive line,” Cline said. “We would like to have an athletic package and a bigger package. If we move Mendoza from the tight end to the center, it will make us more athletic in the front.
Defensively, the Steers are looking to improve on a unit that allowed up 52 points in four district games last year.
Munoz and Mendoza will anchor the defensive line while Ivan Escamilla will play as linebacker or cornerback. Freshman Jose Heredia could help linebacker. Secondary candidates include Machuca, Thomas, and Noah Escamilla.
“We’re pretty athletic and still young,” Cline said. “We just need to develop a certain maturity among the younger ones. “
The new coach hopes to use the six out-of-district games against Water Valley, Irion County, Veribest, Hermleigh, Rotan and Grady to put the players in their best positions.
“But our main goal will be to compete hard and build confidence,” Cline said. “We’re starting with two tough teams in Water Valley and Irion County, but we want to prove that we can compete. If we do, it will continue into the second half of the season. We will have to be ready because our district is really difficult.
Although Robert Lee is his sixth coach in Texas, Cline is originally from Liberal, Kansas, and attended Emporia State University in Kansas.
“My wife was going to go to graduate school at West Texas A&M, so we moved to Texas and decided to stay,” Cline said.
He had never seen a six-a-side game until he left the sideline as head coach at Hedley in 2008. Cline also coached at Rankin, Brookesmith, Anton and Whiteface.
Robert lee steers
District: 8-1A Division I
The Head Coach: Adam Cline (27-44; 0-0 at Robert Lee)
Record of last year: 2-7; 1-3 in the neighborhood
Last District Title / Playoff Appearance: 2012/2019
Stadium: Griffith Stadium
Return letters: 18
Return off./def. entries: 5/5
Basic offense: J / J gun
Base defense: 2-3
Team strength: Maturity, experience
Weakness of the team: Size, speed
Players to watch
QB / RB / SB / DE Michael Munoz (5-9, 195), E / DE / LB Ryan Mendoza (5-10, 165), RB / DB Ivan Escamilla (5-11, 145), Patrick Barrera, Noah Escamilla , David Jowers, Dillan Machuca, Dylan Thomas, Brody Pitcock, Preston Warren
August 27 Water Valley
September 3 in Irion County
September 10 at Veribest
September 17 Hermleigh
September 24 in Rotan
October 1 Grady
October 15 in Bronte *
October 22 Highland *
October 29 at Westbrook *
November 5 Sterling City *
* Neighborhood game
Irion County L 8-67
Veribest W 33-32
Hermleigh L 8-55
Rotane L 14-61
Grady L 14-59
Bronte W 43-42
Highland L 0-46
Westbrook L 0-45
Sterling City L 0-76