Coming off of their sixth straight loss this season, the Big Spring Steers welcome the beginning of district play as a new start. While head coach Phillip Ritchey and his coaching staff may be able to salvage some lessons for the Steers out of the losses, the fact that everyone is tied up at 0-0 right now has to be comforting.
“Everything comes down to this time of the year,” Coach Ritchey said. “Starting right now, the games count. We learned a lot of lessons over the stretch of the last six weeks. Now it's time to make the best out of them.”
District play starts Friday when Brownwood makes the trip to Big Spring to meet the Steers. The 4-2 Lions are coming off of their second loss of the season, a 38-15 defeat at the hands of All Saints. Predicted to finish second in District 5-3A behind Snyder, Brownwood brings a talented group of kids into the district opener.
“Brownwood likes to run the spread. They have a strong runner and they throw the ball well,” Coach Ritchey said. “Defensively, they run formations similar to our own. They have some good athletes and they play very aggressively.”
But any respect Coach Ritchey gives to the Lions, should not be taken as a lack of optimism for the Steers in this game.
“I really like our chances Friday,” Coach Ritchey said. “If we can play a clean game, we have a great shot at this one. We just can not make some of the mistakes we have made in the past.”
At times, the Steers' defense has shown an ability to play with — and often shut down — some of the best teams in 3A. Coach Ritchey will be relying on another impressive performance from the guys on defense in Friday's game.
“Brownwood has a real versatile offense,” he said. “We are going to have to adjust as the game goes on in order to keep it close.”
Brownwood is averaging 27 points per game. The Steers will try to keep them below that mark in order to keep the game within reach. On the other side of the ball, the Steers will be looking for seams in the Lions' defense, hoping to take advantage of their aggressive style of play and catch them going the wrong way or over-pursuing.
The real season starts Friday night, giving the Steers an opportunity to go from last place to first place in just 48 minutes. The game starts at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Stadium.