The Mayde Creek Rams pounded the ball on the ground in 2019 with great results, finishing 9-3 and winning a playoff game.
Star running back Julius Loughridge came up big for the Rams, earning the district Offensive Player of the Year and rushing for more than 1,500 yards. Loughridge returns, as does standout safety Joseph Kinyock.
The new coach, returning standout
There are plenty of new faces, including at head coach and quarterback.
Brian Randle takes over the reins as a coach, coming from an assistant position at Alief Taylor where Randle coached three current NFL players: Ogbo Okoronkwo (LA Rams LB), Joshua Kalu (Tennessee Titans DB) and Duke Ejiofor (Texans LB). Randle has been dealing with lowered numbers due to COVID, along with plenty of other related uncertainties.
“It’s been tough, to be honest with you,” said Randle. “We’ve had to rearrange practice a couple of times. At the end of my e-mails and schedules I always right ‘subject to change,’ because it is."
Because of the lower numbers, some players are learning new positions and may have to fill in on the other side of the ball.
Kinyock is one of those players and is adjusting well, according to the coaching staff.
“He’s a great kid,” said Randle.
“We’ve really built an exciting atmosphere,” said Kinyock. “Coach Randle has really brought up our spirits.”
Loughridge will be the focal point of the offense, but now the team has a new element at the signal-caller position.
When Randle was building his coaching staff, one of his preferred choices took a different job. Randle eventually looked at P.J. Wilson, who he thought had great knowledge of offenses.
It turns out, P.J. Wilson’s son is a pretty good quarterback, Jace Wilson.
Jace is committed to playing at Furman in South Carolina and is looking to improve on a season where he won Newcomer of the Year in the Austin Area, after throwing for more than 2,600 yards.
“I want to throw for more than 3,000 this year,” said Jace. “And, I need to get my turnovers down. I threw six interceptions last season.”
Jace has impressed his new teammates in practice.
“He has a really strong arm, he can run and I like the leadership he’s shown very early," said Kinyock.
He also brings some swagger.
“They put us as the #20 team in Houston and we believe we’re better than that,” said Jace. “We’re highly motivated and we’re going to show everybody what we can do.”