Realignment shook some things up for the Goose Creek CISD programs.
When the UIL made changes in February, GCCISD programs landed in District 8-5A-DI and moved from Region III to Region II, which for playoffs means more travel. As far as the competition goes, trade Beaumont United for Crosby, Friendswood for Barbers Hill giving Baytown Sterling a “competitive district”.
For head coach Robert Toomer, he is looking to get the Rangers back into the playoffs for only the second time in program history and the first time since 2008.
“It’s not about the district but it is about what we do and how we go about handling things,” Toomer said. “I think any district you get in right now down in this area is a tough district. Kids love football, parents love football, and the community loves football.
“You’re going to have to compete every week.”
The ultra-talented Reece Sylvester (Washington State), who was the District 9-5A-DI Multi-Purpose Player of the Year in 2021, is gone, and someone will have to step up in his role and they have some people to do that. First-team, all-district fullback Enijah Evans returns along with second-team, all-district receiver Robert Adams. Along with Adams, the Rangers bring back Jace Greer and Kody Arceneaux at receiver, who were both starters as well. Up front, Gage Woodard, Antonio Salazar and Malachi Godfrey bring back some experience in the trenches.
Entering fall camp, the quarterback spot was still being battled for. Other names to remember include Trenton Smith (RB), La Javian Hagan (OL/DL) and Caleb Smith (RB/LB).
On the defensive side, it is going to be a pretty new group, especially up front on the line. Toomer is set to build up the unit, led by Smith at linebacker, Issac Solorio at safety, Eugene Dersone at outside linebacker and Jaden Clark at corner.
As they head into the season, wins and losses are of course important but at the end of the day, Toomer is trying to teach life lessons along with football.
“I tell these kids all the time, your emotions may change but your character never should,” he said. “You shouldn’t play this game for wins and losses; it is about camaraderie. They’re going to remember this family for the rest of their life. Are wins great to have? Absolutely. But I want these young men to know there is life after sports.”