Saginaw Chisholm Trail opened its first season Monday as more than 100 players went through the program's first practice on the first day of workouts in Texas.
Coach Randall Hugg said he expected the number of players to swell to around 150 once all of the required UIL medical forms are completed.
The Rangers will play a varsity schedule with a roster of sophomores and freshmen. Virtually everyone who took the field in Chisholm Trail purple and gold was a stranger.
"We had a few of our coaches come in about a week and a half ago and that was the first time we were all in the same room at the same time," Hugg said. "Coaches are kind of getting to know coaches, coaches are getting to know kids and kids are getting to know each other because the kids are coming from seven different campuses -- all five middle schools, Saginaw and Boswell High School."
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Hugg has coached at some of the top programs in the state during his 19-year career, mostly as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator.
He was the quarterbacks coach at Highland Park the past four seasons and has coached at Alief Elsik, Abilene Cooper and Odessa Permian. He was also the head coach at Daingerfield from 2004-07, where he posted a 28-17 record.
"I want to establish a program that teaches players at an early age -- sixth, seventh grade -- the fundamentals and terminology of our program," he said. "I've been real fortunate to see some of the top programs in the state, and the middle school programs are where you get it established."
The coaches are still trying to figure out the talent, but there is no doubt that Layne Brown will start at linebacker.
"Layne did a good job over the summer and in May of starting to talk to some of the players who were coming over here and of taking a leadership role," defensive coordinator Jason Tucker said. "That carried over today and he was flying around out here."
Brown is in a unique position to lead. He has attended several schools in the district.
"I went to school with probably 90 percent of these guys; my family has moved around a lot," Brown said.
"I kind of have a background on them and I'm friends with everybody. I'm going to do my best to show leadership, get the team together and try and win games."
Monday was the first day for schools that did not conduct spring drills. Teams must wait four days before putting on the pads.
Schools that had spring ball start practice Aug. 13.