Saginaw Chisholm Trail coach Randall Hugg knew this season was going to be extremely tough for his ball club.
The new school opened in August with only freshman and sophomores to field a varsity squad.
The Rangers, with a roster of 25 players, were outscored 163-34 in their first three games, but a District 6-4A win was within reach last week.
Chisholm Trail rallied from 13-0 and 19-14 deficits against Fort Worth Carter-Riverside, retaking the lead at 20-19 midway through the fourth quarter on a 10-yard pass from Trevor Roberts to Brad Pippi.
But the Eagles prevailed when Alexis Flores made a 28-yard field goal as time expired to hand the Rangers their fourth loss of the year 22-20.
"It's just one of those things of being a young team and learning how to finish off a game," Chisholm Trail coach Randall Hugg said. "You have to learn to put yourself in position to where it doesn't come down to that situation. It's all a part of the growing pains you have to go through though."
The one thing Hugg was most proud of in the loss was his team resiliency and the ability to answer.
"The kids are getting better every week and learning the new system," Hugg said. "It takes a lot of time to develop some chemistry and we feel like were slowly getting there. This week was the first time we've ever been in that situation where we have a chance to win the game. The kids grew up a lot this week and started to taste the feeling that they were going to get their first win. We have to build off that this week."
Chisholm Trail will get back on the field Saturday for a contest with Fort Worth North Side. Of the 25 players on the roster, 20 are sophomores and the other five are 9th graders, something Hugg is hoping will pay off in the next year or two.
Some of those bright spots are freshman Kenneth Cleveland on the defensive side of the ball and sophomore Brad Pippi on offense, who has hauled in 15 passes for 220 yards and two scores. The squad has been rotating both Trevor Roberts and Austin Rayburn at quarterback.
"We've tried Kenneth out in multiple positions and he has really responded and grown up," Hugg said. "We've also been impressed with Brad Pippi on offense. Our quarterbacks have both made some positive.
On a bright spot, the 9th and JV teams have each posted 3-1 records this season.
"We kept three teams to try to get as many kids playing time as possible because their all so young," Hugg said.
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