High school football preview: Saginaw Chisholm Trail Rangers

Posted Saturday, Aug. 02, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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Saginaw Chisholm Trail

District 5-5A

Last season: 3-7, 3-5 in District 6-4A

Key players: RB Jeru Starks (5-8, 175), RB T.K. Powell (5-9, 181), LB Derrick Mayweather (6-1, 215), LB Jaytron Phillips (6-1, 205), DE D’Angelo Jamison (6-2, 245), QB Austin Sallee (6-0, 178).

The big picture: Chisholm Trail coach Randall Hugg said it definitely stung when freshman quarterback Shawn Robinson transferred to Denton Guyer in the spring. With a big freshman campaign, Robinson had already drawn the interest of Texas coach Charlie Strong.

 Replacing Robinson’s 1,123 yards passing and 11 touchdowns falls to junior Austin Sallee in 2014. Hugg said Sallee moves well in the pocket and has improved his arm strength to give Chisholm a real chance at competing for a playoff spot.

 The Rangers are stacked on defense with a strong front seven that includes at least three players squatting 500 pounds or more. Hugg said his team’s commitment to the weight room and work in the spring has paid dividends. “We’re another year older, but it’s not like we’re looking down the road. This team can be successful right now,” he said.

 Hugg adds that the school’s continued expansion — adding a junior class last year and seniors now — means the team is working with a full staff for the first time. The Rangers had 1,842 rushing yards in 2013 and averaged 29.6 points per game.

Quotable: “The first two years were rough and not having any seniors was a unique situation. Some of us freshmen had to step up in leadership roles. We had to grow up fast. The sophomores are seniors now, and they’ve come a long way. This is their year to really make that impact for our team. I wouldn’t change a thing that’s happened to us. I don’t regret the decision to come here in any way, we’ve built a family here.”

— junior linebacker Jaytron Phillips

“Last year, we were 37 seconds away from finishing fifth in district out of nine teams. I think a lot of people thought we should have played JV schedules our first two year. We got beat up a lot, but last year showed these kids that staying with it, we can improve every year. Making the playoffs is certainly not out of reach.”

— coach Randall Hugg

“We’ve learned from our mistakes, and I think this season is the one where we really try to prove everyone wrong. There’s no doubt we’re all family here. We back up each other up on everything. We supported the baseball team last year and all our teams at Chisholm Trail. I’ve been working hard on myself to get where I need to be to compete, and I feel like I have the potential to be at next level. People always say that, but how many are putting in the effort to be great?”

— senior running back T.K. Powell

Notable: This is Chisholm Trail’s third year of varsity football, but it is the first school year with seniors.

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