In a unanimous vote Thursday night, the Ranger ISD school board voted to “withdraw from District 8-2A football in 2021-22 and participate in 6-man football with the understanding that based on high school size, we may not be able to participate in UIL conference for at least a year and maybe more.”
None of those in attendance spoke against the move, other than the regret that Ranger doesn’t have the numbers participating in the football program to compete at the 2A level.
Board member, Darrell Fox, read off a list of statistics showing the dismal win/loss record Ranger has accumulated over the years. RHS has had 35 wins and 134 losses over the last 17 years; 17 wins and 97 losses in the last 10 years. Points scored by opponents over the last ten years were 4530, to Ranger’s 1537. MaxPreps ranks Ranger at the bottom of their 2A-2 Division.
With only 15 players, concern about the safety of players was brought up several times. Morale and the struggle to get students to participate in the program is causing the program to dwindle.
High marks were given to the coaching staff by board members and the parents of the athletes, but with few students in the program, and some of those not doing the work needed, the task to build a competitive 11-man team is all but impossible.
Next season they will be unable to be part of district play so there will be no chance for UIL conference playoffs. It was mentioned, however, that there is an independent state championship that could come into play. The 107 student enrollment number mentioned, puts Ranger on the low end of 2A (105-165.4) but two too many for 6-man (59.5-104.9).
Ultimately, the reason for this move is to allow Ranger football athletes to be competitive on the field. They plan to build a program that will entice more students to participate in the activity which can also bring the added, larger benefit of higher academic goals.