Eighth in a daily series spotlighting key area high school football teams leading to opening night, Aug. 30
Coach: Ged Kates
Key players: WR/DB Kumani Armstead (Sr. 6-1, 180); OL/DL Staton Hoover (Sr. 5-10, 245); QB Brandon Maine (Jr. 5-10, 175); S/RB Payton Murrell (Sr. 5-10, 185); OL Ricky Ortiz (Sr. 6-0, 280); DE Tanner Moss (Jr. 6-1, 220); OL Ivan Maysonet (Sr. 5-11, 250)
The big picture: Coach Ged Kates played at Richland and graduated in 1994. Kates said just being back on campus was energizing for him as a coach. He's hoping his presence will be energizing for his players as well. Richland was in need of a shake-up after missing the playoffs last season. So far, Kates has been impressed with the way the Rebels have responded. While the Rebels most likely won't compete for a district championship this season, they could be a surprise contender for a playoff spot. Kates' first task was making his team stronger and more physical, which he believes happened over the summer.
Quotable: "From what I've seen so far, and experienced in the weight room, coach Kates and his new staff give us a sense of urgency. They make us want to get to put on the pads and go out and practice. They want to work hard and win. We are motivated, something we haven't had in the past. I expect us to give everything we have this year." -- senior OL Ivan Maysonet
"I think we will have a chance in every game, and we will win our share. I'm really excited about our potential, this season and for years to come. It's neat to be back here. I'm proud to have grown up here, and I've always thought the Rebels could be better. Now I get to put my money where my mouth is." -- coach Ged Kates
Notable: Richland isn't in District 6-5A anymore, where the Rebels had to play powerhouse program Euless Trinity and other strong teams such as Colleyville Heritage and Hurst L.D. Bell every year. But Richland will still have a tough district run in 4-5A, where the Rebels will play defending 5A Division I state champion Southlake Carroll as well as the Keller schools.
-- Brent Shirley
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