"When I took the job here, I told Dr. (William) Holda (KC President) that if a football coach couldn't make the playoffs every year at a school as traditionally strong as Kilgore is, then something was wrong," Rieves said. "Every coach in this conference hates losing and wants to win. We know we'll face some of the nation's finest football teams every week, but we're going to do whatever we need to do to put Kilgore back on top."
Texas' winningest junior college program (428 victories) only had two to show last year.
The squad returns only eight starters -- but there is experience at running back and wide receiver.
Hometown product Guy Clayton, Lewis Milbry of Arlington, Trevelyan Canady of Jacksonville, and Dante Higgins of Houston Yates give the Rangers four sophomore passcatchers who have seen significant playing time, and they will be complemented by BYU transfer B.J. Mathis -- also a kick-return specialist. Sophomore tight-end candidate Kendrick Holloway of Dallas Skyline beefed up this summer after impressing coaches in the final two regular season games of 2005.
Coordinator Travis Fox's mutliple offense likely will be guided by Henderson State University transfer Trey Jones from Wharton. Jones' college-game experience enabled him to edge redshirt freshman Jerred Wallace from Warren for the starting slot as KC hopes to strength an offense that averaged less than 20 points per outing.
At SWJCFC Media Day, Rieves planted tongue firmly in cheek when he said he would run a 3-3-5 defense because of promise shown by ends Marcus Smith, Anthony DeGrate and Tyrrell Herndon. For all their fine work, it is the loss of three interior tackles in the offseason that causes concern. Tommy Chavis transferred to the University of Missouri, Lawrence Emeadi is out for the season after an accident in which he fell off a horse, and Curtis Smith is not returning for personal reasons. Kilgore's defense could get a boost from linebacker and former safety Ashford Ayres and cornerback James Price, a Longview product who transfers in from TCU.
Promising athletes abound at linebacker, where Tom Garrett made a successful conversion from safety and joins Tabares Harris at OLB slots. Giorgio Majors and LaFonzo Ruffin likely will man the middle.
Here's a thumbnail preview of the 2006 Kilgore Rangers, narrowly predicted by SWJCFC coaches to finish fourth and earn a slot in postseason play:
TEAM: Kilgore Rangers
COLORS: Blue and White
HOME FIELD: R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium
HEAD COACH: Jim Rieves (7th year)
ASSISTANT COACHES: Travis Fox (6th, OC / OL), Mike Pisinski (1st, QB), Gary Manuel (2nd, RB), Don Yancy (5th, DE); John Furnas (1st, LB)
2005 SEASON RECORD: 2-7
2005 CONFERENCE RECORD: 1-5
POSITION IN STANDINGS: Seventh
BOWL GAMES: None
NJCAA 2005 FINAL RANKING: None.
BASIC OFFENSE: Multiple
BASIC DEFENSE: 4-2-5
MOVING ON: Michael Cohen (P, Oklahoma); Mike Jones (OL, Tarleton State); Torrin Bush (DT, Tarleton State); Frank Brown (DL, Midwestern); Bryan Carlson (TE, North Texas); Darryl Citizen (FB, Henderson State); Marc Jones (TE, Kansas); Jamond Hawkins (DB, Abilene Christian); Jason Miller (DE, Abilene Christian); Clayton Norman (Southern Arkansas); Curtis Straughter (DB, Northeastern Oklahoma); Nick Wilson (Northeastern Oklahoma); Quintin Wilson (DB, Abilene Christian); Tommy Chavis (DL, Missouri).
RETURNING: Billy Martin (5-10, 200, RB, Pittsburg); Adrian Brooks (5-10, 247, FB, Longview); Guy Clayton (5-10, 175, WR, Kilgore); Aaron Hunter (6-2, 300, OL, Dallas Kimball); Avery Norris (6-0, 210, DB, Houston Washington); Georgio Majors (5-11, 210, LB, Alief Elsik); Marcus Smith (6-1, 249, DE, Conroe Oak Ridge); Keith Demby (6-0, 230, RB, Pflugerville Connally); Keith Smith (5-9, 200, RB, Conroe Oak Ridge); Rashad Lee (5-8, 205, FB, Tyler Chapel Hill); Lewis Milbry (6-0, 200, WR, Arlington); Trevelyan Canady (5-6, 160, WR, Jacksonville); Dante Higgins (5-10, 185, WR, Houston Yates); Ernest Quander (RS-Fr, WR, Manor); Joe Rogers (5-11, 170, RS-Fr, WR, Fort Worth Southwest); Darron Sheppard (6-2, 270, C, Longview); Bradley Guillory (OL, Lafayette, La.); Robin Williams (6-2, 305, OL, Boyd); Jordan Moore (6-2, 325, OL, Kilgore); Kendrick Holloway (6-1, 230, TE, Dallas Skyline); Mike Matlock (TE, Mount Enterprise); Anthony DeGrate (6-3, 225, DL, Irving Nimitz); Tyrrell Herndon (6-3, 230, DL, Copperas Cove); Lawrence Emeadi (6-2, 280, DL, Kilgore); William Green (6-0, 270, DL, Richardson); Kedrick Jones (6-0, 260, RS-Fr, DL, West Columbia); Tom Garrett (6-0, 195, RS-So., LB, Tatum); Tabares Harris (6-1, 175, LB, Conroe Oak Ridge); Shane Marrett (6-2, 195, LB, Spring); LaFonzo Ruffin (6-0, 210, LB, Miami, Fla.); Ashford Ayres (6-1, 215, LB, Lufkin); Gibenson Dieu (Delray Beach, Fla.); Chris Mitchell (RS-So., LB, Lexington); Quarnell Butler (5-9, 165, CB, Miami, Fla.); Joseph Savoie (5-11, 180, CB, Port Arthur Memorial); James Pierce (DB, Longview); Errik Ejike (6-1, 190, S, Tyler Lee); Jordan DuBois (6-1, 175, PK, Longview Pine Tree).
NJCAA PRE-SEASON ALL-AMERICANS: Billy Martin (RB) -- 2nd Team; Kendrick Holloway (TE); B.J. Mathis (WR); Aaron Hunter (OL); Marcus Smith (DE); Avery Norris (DB) -- All Honorable Mentions.
TOP TRANSFERS: Trey Jones (QB, Wharton / Tr-Henderson State); James Price (CB, Longview / Tr-TCU); B.J. Mathis (WR, Richardson Berkner / Tr-Brigham Young)
TOP FRESHMAN SIGNEES: Kendal Abron (6-2, 225, DE, DeSoto); Corderro Anderson (6-0, 290, OL, Dickinson); Jonathan Arceneaux (6-0, 205, LB, Tyler John Tyler); Devaun Baker (5-10, 160, DB, Mesquite Horn); Cody Ball (5-9, 160, DB, Wylie); Michael Berryman (5-9, 180, DS, Longview); A.J. Billings (6-0, 275, OL, Dallas Spruce); Lamarcus Bogany (6-4, 225, TE, Klein Forest); Roy Burk (6-3, 325, OL, Texarkana Texas High); Chris Burns (6-0, 225, LB, Tyler John Tyler); Eric Bush (5-8, 160, WR, Aldine); Lamar Craigs (5-10, 170, DB, Angleton); Myron Curry (6-2, 225, DE, DeSoto); Willie Darden (5-11, 175, WR, Gilmer); Andrew Davis (6-3, 285, DT, Arlington Seguin); Chase Fisher (5-11, 175, QB, Kilgore); Mark Forney (5-11, 220, LB, Dallas Lincoln); Boddrick Gullat (6-0, 180, LB, Texarkana Texas High); Marquis Holden (6-2, 265, DT, Dallas Lincoln); Anthony Holder (6-2, 280, OL, Dripping Springs); Roger Hurts (5-10, 260, DT, Lufkin); Jeremy Johnson (6-2, 300, OL, Aldine); Tony Johnson (5-11, 205, LB, Longview); Robbie Junior (6-1, 230, TE, Texarkana Texas High); Aaron Kelly (6-3, 320, OL, Texarkana Texas High); Antonio Kelly (6-0, 220, LB, Kilgore); Josh Mathis (6-1, 250, OL, Kilgore); Jarrod McCarty (6-2, 210, LB, Fort Bend Marshall); Jermaine Nash (5-9, 180, DB, Newton); Kelcie Oliver (5-10, 175, DB, Longview); Chase Patterson (6-0, 220, FB, Kilgore); Derrick Pelzer (6-4, 280, DT, South Garland); Dominic Powell (5-11, 185, DB, Dallas Carter); Chris Propps (6-1, 270, DT, Queen City); Lamont Roberts (5-11, 200,. RB, Brenham); Kurt Rossum (6-1, 175, DB, Kilgore); Jamall Skipper (5-10, 165, DB, Killeen Shoemaker); Jeremy Smith (5-9, 170, WR, Irving MacArthur); Paul Suel (5-8, 175, DB, Tyler Chapel Hill); Eric Taylor (5-11, 190, DB, Lufkin); Dominic Vargas (6-0, 230, DE, Alvin); Martin Vazquez (5-7, 150, PK, Tatum); Vincent Ward (5-11, 170, DB, Angleton); Travis Walker (6-3, 275, OL, Dallas Spruce); Chris Washington (6-1, 185, DB, Dallas Lincoln); David Watkins (6-0, 190, RB, Irving Nimitz); Johnell White (6-2, 240, DE, Texarkana Texas High); Vincent Williams (6-2, 225, QB, Waco LaVega)
DATE OPPONENT TIME
August 19 -- Scrimmage: Navarro TBA
August 26 -- Butler CC, Ks. 7 p.m.
September 2 -- Open Date
September 9 -- Tyler 7 p.m.
September 16 -- at Navarro * 7 p.m.
September 23 -- Blinn * 7 p.m.
September 30 -- at Ranger 3 p.m.
October 7 -- at Tyler * 3 p.m.
October 14 -- Trinity Valley * 3 p.m.
October 21 -- at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M * 2 p.m.
October 28 -- Cisco * + 6 p.m.
* Denotes SWJCFC Game
+ Denotes Homecoming